Wednesday 30 March 2011

Happy Mother's Day - & some toys!

Well, the new toys arrived at the office today (it's easier getting things delivered there so I don't miss the postman at home) - look!!
 Unfortunately I can't use the "dream" mover and shaker yet as I don't have a base plate die big enough for it to go in - so that means more shopping, lol!  

I did have a play with the rosettes though - and used the original larger size one too - now just need to find something to put this on!!

And this evening I have made my Mother's Day card so it can get in the post nice and early for Sunday!
Used some paper from the shabby chic paperstack, sprayed with glimmer mist (snap dragon) and then marshmallow to tone it back down again! and the Wendy star stamp and sentiment;  and Tim's butterflies. Ink is dusty concord.


Another week gone by - time to report to head girl Julia for desk inspection!

What there should have been on my desk is some new toys but at the time of writing this they haven't arrived! You'll have to wait and see.... suffice it to say, Tim Holtz and dies....

Instead, are a couple of cards I've made - one for a challenge (see Tuesday's post) and one for one of my nephew's birthday although I was about to have got the date wrong and sent it days too early.... oops!
Oh, well, it's ready for next week.  (Should have made my Mother's Day card tonight instead then...)
The birdcage and it's support are both dies from Tim - the support is the post for the hanging sign die, and I pinched this idea from someone I saw do the same thing - sorry, I can't give you credit as I don't remember where I saw this now!  I used liberal amounts of perfect pearl sprays and distress inks.

Several people ask what I do with all my tags - well, apart from a few that made it to the corkboard in my hallway, the rest sit in this shoebox!!  It's reached a dangerous state at the moment, every now and then the top ones slide off!  

Phone update - all sorted - refund of the call cost set against my account ready for the next statement (which in theory means the two sides will cancel one another out - I hope!)   Phone working ok!!

Eye update - you may remember that back in November I experienced a loss of vision which resulted in scans, poking and prodding and such like.  Well, last Friday was the long awaited referral to the neuro consultant chappy at the eye hospital - and it's good news (some of you have already seen that post last week) - the vision is improving (the diagnosis I had at the time, was not correct - that was a condition that doesn't improve and now I am told normally affects people a lot older with other health issues!!) but at least things are improved!! 

At the weekend, I - and several other bloggers - had some problems with blogger not uploadng photos although they seemed to be there - I started a help forum and the blogger people have sorted it - you do NOT have to change browser.  If any of you are affected, here is the link to tell you what to do to the affected posts.
Now, off to check out the other desks - I visited lots of you last week, but I am sorry, I didn't always manage to leave a comment, naughty I know, but..... I was there!

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Simon Says - show your Hats

Well, I did find this one hard!! However, I made a card using a Paperartsy plate which has several hats on!!

I stamped this several times so I could cut out bits and layer it up, brushed the edges with some distress inks and layered it on a card blank that I covered with a piece of 7 Gypsies paper. I 3d'd alternative words, just sticking the ones in between straight to the card, for added contrast.  Not sure if that shows in the photo.
The glue looks a bit splodgy!! Is matte accents meant to be much thinner than the glossy one?  Mine runs everywhere!!
There will be lots more - better - entries on show here and as usual a great prize up for grabs!

I opened a new black archival ink pad to stamp these fine guys - and blimey did I have trouble opening the ink pad - never known a pad so reluctant to let go it's lid.... I thought it was going to snap, I had to use a palette knife round the rim to lever it off in the end!

Monday 28 March 2011

Grungy Monday #1

Did you know what an auspicious day it is today - Monday 28th March - the first day of the new Grungy Monday challenges - Linda has dreamt up a new series of challenges for us to keep our Tim fixes going!

Today, she has asked us to recreate a tag based on Tim's 2008 Day 10 of Christmas and this is what I've come up with - but not on a Christmas theme - I can't do Christmas 9 months early!!

The details are on Tim's tag (click the link above) so I won't tell you how I did this, but I used a perfect pearl/distress reinker combi of spiced marmalade and perfect copper powder, the bird is coloured with mint perfect pearl, and the masked tag is overinked with bundled sage.

Sorry I can't get a decent close up - I really do need to buy a better digital camera (it's coming!!)
I had lots of fun making this although it took me a couple of hours to come up with a decent theme.

Thanks Linda, this is going to be a lot (more) fun!!

Friday 25 March 2011

Thank you

I made a card this evening, for my best friend Claire who came with me today to the eye hospital for my follow up appointment (the referral from last November!) to check my loss of vision in one eye.  Thankfully, (and as I had suspected) it has improved - the loss of vision is less - so they think it is, or rather was, some kind of inflammation of an optic nerve (I think - already I've forgotten what he said!)

Anyhow, they think it will continue to improve for another few months and don't want to see me again.  They took some pictures of my optic nerve, which I saw on the computer screen - boy are they pretty, I would have loved a print out to put in my journal!! Sadly they couldn't get a printer connected because there was no-one around who knew how to do it........

Anyhow, this is the card I have made, (keep scrolling, you will get there!!) and it fits two challenges - the Everything Wendy Vecchi (EWV) yahoo group is working on page 8 of book one - a scallop frame and a small grungepaper flower - and Play Date Cafe gave us this gorgeous picture to inspire us to use purple turquoise and white.

I used distress inks to colour the flower then went over that with sparkly gel pens, and sprayed the frame with a dusty concord/pearl perfect pearls mix.
The chip letters are painted with sky blue claudine hellmuth paint.
The bubble background (Wendy) is also dusty concord.

It's been too long since I managed to enter the PDCC and I am so glad I made it this week.
The base card is 51/2 by 5/12 inches.

There is also a new home for the Tag Tuesday challenge here as Louise has had to step back, but Rebecca is taking it on. Good luck Rebecca, and here is my entry for this week "think spring"  When I think of spring,I think of butterflies and this simple tag uses Tim's butterflies and a Wendy flower scroll, & lots of shimmer!

The card for my friend is going in the post tomorrow, & I don't think she will see it before it arrives as she is playing badminton(actually I think I mean tennis) tonight and has a first aid course tomorrow - hope it goes ok!!  Thanks for the company today, Claire.

(edit) I have had some problems with this post and the pictures aren't showing, I have re-inserted them but it looks as if they may re-appear twice... or not at all! (Mon- further edit - Blogger help has come good and fixed it!)

Thursday 24 March 2011

Simon Says - show a word

And the word is - Love!  Check out the challenge here.  I wasn't sure what word to choose, but in the end I went for love, because I got some new stamps today (more of that in a bit)

Some time ago I started to decorate this canvas but didn't like how it was turning out, so painted over it with some Claudine Hellmuth paint yesterday.
I used some of my new Paperartsy stamps and some idea-ology.
This flower trim is beautiful - and you can colour it however you like! This is a distress reinker/perfect pearl mix I made up but I haven't labelled the mini mister so I can't remember which colours!!
The hearts are coloured with spun sugar and edged with worn lipstick. Mwah!!

And these are my new stamps - just a few!!  Thanks to my SIL! I picked them up from hers on my way home from work - just a few £££ lighter....!

I have the day off tomorrow but sadly won't get to play more - got the long awaited hospital follow up with the neuro-chap about why I've lost some vision in my eye (as burbled on about in November!)
Will let you know what they say!

Wednesday 23 March 2011

WOYWW? issue 94

Hi, peeps, how ya'doin?

Another week has flown by, and it's time for another world-wide ogle at the craft spaces of the world, organised so well by head monitor, Julia.

This week on my desk, I have my "journal" that I bought on Saturday (see yesterday's post) but a few hours ago it wasn't going to look that way at all - THIS was the space I laughingly call my "desk" :

 normal view
temporary move to the left (I thought I had taken one of the space created)
and pile it up -   because this time last week, Virgin Media (who supply my phone, internet and tv) managed to connect a new customer to MY phone number.... and I had no phone... luckily the internet  wasn't affected - can you imagine being blog-less or twitter-less for a WEEK? 
They tried to tell me it was a crossed line - me, with no line at all... anyhow, eventually today it's sorted.
They have to bill me for the calls Mr X made - £43 worth, to the States -- and then recredit me - why they can't just not show them, is a question worth asking but with no answer! 
Still, a very nice engineer came today and fixed it.
His visit necessitated me moving all the stuff in pic one on the floor, out of the way so he could get behind the TV to the phone socket....

And this is a little extra, for putting up with me boring you  - my boxes of tags (unused, far end) small pads of paper, Craftwork Cards bits and pieces, and grungeboard (actually, that box is out of frame)  One of the comments I got last week, was that as there are so many new WOYWWers now, I should start going round the boxes again for you!!  We'll see! The Ikea boxes in the background of this pic house some of my many,many, many stamps!
So I'll let you go on your way - happy desking!

Tuesday 22 March 2011

It's probably (definately) not journalling as such...

but it's inky stuff on a page in a book, lol!  After a couple of days, I got as far as taking the plastic wrap off the book...

And took some distress inks and stencils....
After another day I put some more colour on the page and another stencil... stuck a piece of torn book page..... and tonight I even inked up a stamp or two... (stamps are by Tim Holtz)
It's nothing to write home about for sure, and it's not on the first (or even second) page - so later on I won't see it as soon as I open the book - but I took the plunge. Now I need to work out what sort of thing I want to put in here - I certainly won't be doing a lot of writing (not neat enough, not one to bare my soul ) so it will probably be a kind of "mess about trying this and that rather than on a tag that I don't know what to do with afterwards - book"!
Now off to get my WOYWW post sorted... and Holby City's on in a minute so I need to get a cup of tea...
Thanks as always for looking, and encouraging me to do this next step in my "art".

Sunday 20 March 2011

Two challenges

Well, after a few days of nothing, I've done two challenge pieces today!

First up was Hels' Sunday Stamper -to use die cuts.  Not, it so happened that I had some grungeboard tattered florals left from yesterday, so I decided I'd use them.  Remember I showed you the Crafty Individuals poppy on my WOYWW post?  Well, still not got any EZ mount but it held on an acrylic block as it was, and the other day I stamped it on a tag - finished it off this morning with the grunge flowers.
This time I did gesso the flowers first and then used pigment inks - I only have 3 adirondack pigments - sailboat, orange and butterscotch, so used them all!  The orange one didn't turn out how I wanted,  so I turned it over and used the other side in the end....
Used my fave stamp in the hand script stamp for the blue flowers and Wendy's polka dot for the small one.

Challenge 2 is for the Everything Wendy Vecchi yahoo group - this week we are to use just ONE set of Wendy stamps (though we could use other makes too) I took Botanical Art and some of my favourite distress colours.  It was VERY hard to decide which set to use

Not sure which photo looks most in focus!

i think it's the background that is affecting my judgement!
The solid flowers (I love this stamp, and this is what settled it for using this set) are stamped on a thin piece of card stock and each cut out and 'blushed' with a little wild honey before sticking to the tag.

Never inked up the spider before today - shock horror! but when I turned to the set in the pile, I found that he had slid off his ez mount - never known that happen before!  I was able to reattach him - I think maybe the pile of my Tim and Wendy stamps are getting too heavy to have all in one heap, I am going to have to re-think how I store them - or at least where....(they've been piled on the sofa next to me!)

Anyhow, back to the Liverpool game now, we're winning but don't really deserve to be... fingers crossed, 25 minutes to go!!

Saturday 19 March 2011

Adapting Wendy's book

Well, I had to try a project from Wendy's book, didn't I?  Didn't know where to start, really, they are all so lovely.

This doesn't really look anything like the version in the book - for a start Wendy used a large art part which I don't have - I used a maya road chip coaster, which I then had to trim because it didn't fit the art part scallops... etc etc.  Still I tried! And Tim's scissors cut through the coaster just fine - it's me who can't cut straight!

I also mis-read the instructions for the flower and didn't gesso it first so the colour was too dark..
As you see I also had trouble photographing it with all the shimmer on it affecting the flash.  Maybe tomorrow in the daylight I'll try again!

Blimey!  full frontal male nudity on BBC2!!  Just looked up as this young man got out of bed.... it's a play about the writer Christopher Isherwood, starring Dr Who himself, Matt Smith (it wasn't him naked.... but I may just keep watching, lol - according to Radio Times, that comes later!)

Stars for Simon

This week's "Simon Says" is to show stars.  I have been stumped, idealess for this!

Last night in a fit of despair I start messing with a tag (my fail-safe, whenever I am stumped, is to chuck (sometimes literally) ink at a tag) - as my followers will have seen I have recently found and fallen in love with Donna Downey's blog - and was messing about with some of her paint drippage ideas (not that I have much in the way of paint - and the shops were shut.... )

Anyhow I inked and gesso'd and dripped distress reinkers down this tag before stamping the "journal" dictionary definition by Tim from his World Traveller set and the star border from the Rockstar set.

Still didn't know how to make it into anything remotely blogg-able let alone up to entering a challenge so abandoned it to watch Comic Relief - what a show this year's was - brilliant, even it if was hard to watch the tear-jerking films.

Then today, after shopping (mostly boring, grocery type) and a lunchtime football match on tv, I thought of these star shapes I bought ready cut out (Craftwork Cards) - I overstamped a Wendy script background and stamped her Embrace the Possibilities on a piece of scrap card.  Blah blah blah. It's not really up to much but I will enter it anyway!

Now, I said mostly grocery shopping.... Like I said, I have fallen in love with Donna's blog - some people said, give it a go, try journalling - so I bought a sketchbook type journal thing to have a go in today - and another blogger (I think from WOYWW) said Primark do some really cheap jewellery and she was taking bits apart to use as embellishments - nuff said!!
The sketch book is A5 size - not too big to be daunting, but big enough to get some inks or paints etc on a page - so we'll see what happens.  One of you who commented about my venture into journalling (not that I'll be writing my soul on these pages, it will be more art (loosely) type stuff ) - said don't start on the first page - so that's my plan!  At least it's spiral bound so if all else fails I can rip it out!

Finally (cos I have rambled on for FAR too long, THIS little beauty came in the post today.  Be stilll, my beating heart!  I have already read it (fairly quickly) through - there are some fab projects... and my wish list of must haves has grown even longer! Thanks to Wendy from The Stamp Attic for sending it so quickly!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

WOYWW 93 - Shopping? Again?

Well, you know I am addicted right! Just happened to see a new stamp from Crafty Individuals on my travels round blogland on Sunday - found some special offers.... you can guess the rest.
A couple of packs of background papers (these were what was reduced) and then I fell in love with some stamps.... and some little frames.

And these were a freebie - just for sending in an order! How cool is that. Can't wait to play (need some EZ mount or something though - forgot I'd run out...)

I have recently become addicted to Donna Downey's blog - so much so that I think I want to start journalling - Carmen was kind enough to say she thought I'd be good at it - but I don't really know where to start - although I suppose buying some kind of blank journal would be a good place!! Watch this space, as they say! Not sure how this amazing blog has escaped me for so long!
If you are one of the last people in blogland who doesn't know why I'm showing you my workspace check out the rest here at Julia's!.  Have a fab time trekking the universe for some strange places to craft!

Sunday 13 March 2011

Brown Eyed Girl - SS 145

A theme of 'brown' set by Hels today at Sunday Stampers and I had a chance to use some of my new Timmy H stamps - I made a card, although I didn't know I was making a card till I finished the middle bit!

I started with a square from the Lost and Found stack but used a gesso wash to lighten the colour a bit before stamping the main image bottom left (from the Tim plate World Traveller (I was watching Prof Brian Cox on Something for the Weekend as I started this... space travel was on my mind!)
"not all who wander" is from the same set, stamped on a scrap and 3d foamed to the base, giving the mini car (the TSV special) something to drive along!
Mini brolly man caused me some problems - good job I tested him on a scrap - I only had it upside down on the mount and got a big black blob...
Close up of some details. (not that my camera lets me get very close!)
Found a sheet of 8x8 brown paper stock (craftwork cards) to fit to an 8x8 card and edged it with tissue tape all round.
Brushed some walnut stain DI round the base work before attaching it to the big card.
Philosophy tag and game spinner to finish.

bottom left - 'enjoy the journey' from the tsv special, a great mini version  - on a scrap of tag left from something!

bottom right.

This will go in my box ready for when I need a 'man card'!

Friday 11 March 2011

EWV - challenge 5

Wednesday saw the launch of the latest challenge over on the Everything Wendy Vecchi yahoo group, hosted by uber-talented  Lori.
So I made a card today using prompts of a scroll (stamp or other form equally acceptable) and chipboard letters, & at least one Wendy stamp - based on Wendy's art from page 18 of her first book.  I did have a look at the book first just to remind myself of the original - but this is nothing like the original! I had loads of fun doing this.

I used another of the new stencil templates that I got the other day - love this brick one! Makes me think of Pink Floyd, & Another Brick in the Wall, but that's for another day!! I used aged mahogany, fired brick and brushed corduroy for the "wall" and then made some grunge flowers (all stamps are by Wendy) and one of her scrolly/flourish stamps. The letters are painted with pumpkin eco green paint, the flowers distress inked and sprayed with shimmery perfect pearl sprays.

Have a good evening - it's bedtime for me, though I am finding it hard to stop watching the news coverage of the dreadful Japan earthquake/tsunami - hope it doesn't spread as far as they fear it is going to - stay safe, everyone!

Thursday 10 March 2011

Just for me!

My new templates arrived yesterday but I was too lazy - and too busy catching up on WOYWW posts - to use them!

I got 4 (as you do) here they are - think those fish will be fun!  I may have to take up journalling....

and after the Liverpool game tonight (don't ask, not a good day!) I used one on a tag (for a change..)
I was just messing about, really but once I'd done the background with the template I thought I may as well finish it - well, I may do some more to it still, but I'm tired and going to bed.

The butterflies are from Tim's Papillon set and stamped in dusty concord, over the numbers which are rusty hinge, edged with walnut stain. I added some glossy accents to a couple of the butterflies; but the flash doesn't help show it to its best.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

WOYWW 92 - 9th March

Happy Wednesday all. Good to see you all again. What's on YOUR workdesk today? Once again we're all getting together at Julia's to check! Have you tidied? Have you re-organised? Have you shopped?

Well, I can answer yes to one of those.... bet you can't guess which one - go on, try!!

I know I said I wasn't going to before Ally Pally - but that's a month away (exactly a month) and - um - er - well you see I had such fun spraying colourwashes over the stencils last week I treated myself to a few more.
They're on the way to me, but not here yet.  What DID arrive today (sorry, on Tuesday) are the goodies I got courtesy of my random win on the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge a couple of weeks ago - and this is what I chose!

Some Tim Holtz stamps - for a change!  Some of his earlier designs, that I've not seen here before (good excuse, eh?!)

The prize was a massive $50 to spend in the Simon Says online store. Well, it would be rude not to... So this haul cost me the price of the postage and a few $$ over the 50. And it only took a week to get here from the States. I don't think that's too bad.
I still love wood mounted stamps the best, never mind that they take up more storage space!

Had to have a little play too - the tag background is a reject from a challenge from a few days ago that I kept because you can cover a multitude of sins with paper scraps!

So, that's me. I will get to as many of you as I can today or as soon as I can, till then, have a great hop!
Oh, and I went to Kew Gardens again on Saturday, there are a few photos on my other blog (click the fountain at the top of the sidebar if you're interested)

Monday 7 March 2011

We Love Tim! CCC meets SSSS

Boo Hoo, its the final week of the Compendium Challenges hosted by the Lovely Linda and we are on page 67. As usual I can't tell you about the technique but it involves using some of Tim's tools and - for me anyhow - a needle and thread (I was well out of my comfort zone here I tell you!)

You can't really see the thread - it's running along the top of the metal.
The cute little butterfly is from the exclusive stamp set I got from QVC - sweeeett!
Simon Says Stamp and Show - some Metal today - so this also fits there too.  I used a texture fade and some TSS chocolate metal which I wiped with pesto alcohol ink to remove the colour from the embossing. 

In homage to Tim for writing the book that has made my Mondays for the last 35 plus weeks, I used grungeboard letters sprayed with lettuce colourwash.  The tag (one of the jumbo sized ones) is crushed olive, edged with forest moss.

I made a rosette and coloured some lacy ribbon with forest moss DI.

Linda, thank you for hosting this challenge - we all appreciate it and your hard work in doing so, co-ordinating some great prizes (today especially!!) - we have all enjoyed it - YOU rock too!!
I for one, can't wait to see what you have in store for us next!

Sunday 6 March 2011

Mother Nature's Son - Sunday Stamper

I actually had the idea for this card yesterday but didn't force myself off the sofa to make it. So when I saw Hels' Sunday Stamper theme this morning, it was ideal!!   The theme, taken from the Beatles song title - is Nature.
 I love these Paperartsy stamps!! I took a piece of white card and inked it using Mustard Seed DI. Stamped and masked the flowers and 3'd some of them for a bit of texture, as it was looking a bit flat.

Stamped the sentiment (from the same Paperartsy plate) and tore round it, added a dab of mustard seed and some walnut stain; and spritzed it with sunflower sparkle perfect pearls spray - I only have 4 of these yummy sprays so far, but this is a FAB colour and the level is going down in the bottle!!

I hope to get to be arty again today but Liverpool are playing at lunchtime and I also need to pop out and pick up my photos - I went to Kew yesterday morning - the daffodils are coming out and if it hadn't been so darned cold and cloudy - I could have fooled myself into thinking it was Spring!!

Thursday 3 March 2011

A Yahoo group challenge

This week our yahoo group leader Lori challenged us to make a tag based on Wendy's first book page 10. Under the rules of the challenge I can't tell you how to do this.

Wendy calls this technique "perfect stamping" and it's a variation of Tim's "wrinkle free distress" technique.  It involves perfect pearls.

Here is my tag. I used weathered wood and broken china on the base tag. The tree is "crooked limb" from Stampscapes.  The bird was stamped in brown stazon on grungepaper.
The technique shows up better here before I finished it!  I haven't done this version of this technique before, despite having had the book for ages - it was great fun. (although the first one I did was a bit too splodgy!)
If you'd like to join in, click the link above and come check us out!

Wednesday 2 March 2011

WOYWW 91 - and 100

Cripes, the weeks are flying by!  I have to think about what I'm going to make to participate in the WOYWW PIF on the 2nd anniversary (check Julia's blog for more details.  It's not a must do, only an if you want to thing. Sounds a great idea to celebrate this phenomenen that WOYWW has become.

Anyhow, what's this here then?  More new goodies? On MY desk?  Surely not.....

Could it be....
The QVC TSV (today's special value) I "had" to get last week.... oh YES!
Check out those cute mini Tim stamps!
And what's this?? MORE?  Well, Lin blogged at the weekend that some more of the new Idea-ology range had arrived and invited us to go shopping.... so I - er - did!
I took a day's holiday on Tuesday - British Gas were coming to do the boiler service and as they only give you a time slot of 8-12 or 12-6 I took 8-12 and the whole day off. Much to my surprise the engineer came at 8.20 and was gone by 8.40 - so the whole day to do - whatever!  As I blogged on Monday, I intended to play all day, and I fully intended to - but in the end I mostly just slobbed about!!

 I did however have a bit of a play - made a couple of cards - the background is adirondack colourwashes sprayed over a crafters workshop daisy template.

Well, by the time you see this I will be back in the office (strange how even one day off makes you want to give up work altogether!)  Check out some more fab desks/floors/weird workspaces here - and see you soon!
As I finished scheduling this (Tuesday evening due to my early early starts) I see I have hit the magic 100 followers - WOW!!! I never in a month of Sundays, when I started this blog about 18 months ago thought I would get 1 - 10 - let alone 100. Thank you ALL for dropping by - coming back again and again - and the encouragement and support you have shown in my blathering and my "art".  I have never been a confident person and have very little faith in my ability and never really believe that people like me for me, so it means more than you will ever know. Thank you.